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Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) was called “the Sybil of Greenwich Village.” Her poems of Manhattan’s Bohemia in its last decades are sharp and surreal takes from an outsider who fled a Wall Street job and chose to live among the writers and artists, a “full-time poet” when such a choice of profession was a guarantee of neglect and poverty. She is the flaneur of streets and harbors, of coffeehouses and lofts, always “alone in my voice” but eager to share her sharp and biting images and visions. After Hours in Bohemia is the eighth and final volume of the series of the poet’s complete surviving works, from published magazines and typewritten manuscripts. Holland’s long-time publisher Brett Rutherford has also added almost 100 pages of other poems, recovered or reconstructed from the poet’s hand-written notebooks.
The final section of this book reprints all the known critical reviews and articles about Barbara Holland published in her lifetime, plus interviews about her craft, and her struggles for recognition in the Manhattan poetry scene, which did not initially welcome her. As she told one reporter, “I am my own prison.” The contributors to the “critical reception” section include Ivan Arguelles, Kirby Congdon, Brett Rutherford, Robert Kramer, Claudia Dobkins-Dikinis, Olga Cabral, Maurice Kenny, and Michael Redmond.
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